View Full Version : Pilbara Airlines ?

10th Mar 2019, 08:32
found this story from last Thu, but can't seem to find anything else except on facebook ?Pilbara airline to begin direct South-East Asia flights

Daneka HillNorth West Telegraph

Thursday, 7 March 2019 5:57PM

The newly established Pilbara Airlines is now officially taking bookings for trips flying direct from Hedland to South-East Asia.

The company announced earlier today that residents of the region could now book direct return fares from the Pilbara to popular tourist hotspots this December, including Singapore, Manila and Ho Chi Minh.

Tickets for the direct flights can only be purchased through South Hedland-based agent Grab Travel, starting from today.

Pilbara Airlines owner Peter Carter, who also owns Grab Travel, said the destinations were specifically chosen based on demand.

“There are a lot of fly-in fly-out workers from Manila,” he said.

“Vietnam is the hottest tourist destinations for Australia, Singapore is the biggest hub in the world if you want to go anywhere.”

The first flight is set to commence on December 2 this year and will be a 11am flight to Singapore.

Vietnam flights will be run on Monday and Tuesday, Singapore flights Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, and on Saturdays the plane will go to Manila.

Mr Carter, who is also a Town of Port Hedland councillor and Port Hedland Chamber of Commerce president, said the airline has made its way into existence without any major corporate backing.

“It’s basically all our own funding, we’ve had no government support, no government funding, no council funding, no chamber of commerce funding, nothing at all,” he said.

Mr Carter said Grab Travel is focusing on securing a plane to run daily flights to Perth at 6am with a returning flight at 4pm.

Residents currently travelling to Perth on one-day trips for work or doctor’s appointments must catch a 9am flight, which gets into Perth at 11am and be back on a Hedland-bound plane by 3pm.

10th Mar 2019, 10:14
Sounds like a JetGo story....

10th Mar 2019, 13:14
sounds to me like charters out of Asia. There must be dozens of choices.

When Kiwi Int started they chartered/wet leased aircraft from all over the place.

Passengers didn't care where the aircraft came from, how old they were etc. They just cared about the fares.

Wonder it if a Scoot aircraft for SIN/MNL or one of many other based in SIN.

10th Mar 2019, 18:17
The Asian based charters have been tried before. Seasonal I guess...

10th Mar 2019, 23:58
time might be right now ? As long as the guy in Pilbara doesn't try to get too big too soon.

A few flights a week could work, as long as pricing is right.

Thinking about it, Port Hedland to anywhere is incredibly expensive.

So they just have to be cheaper than existing options, which are mostly via Perth.

Just heard they have 2 jets lined up an E190 & a BAe146-not sure which subtype.Air Kiribati perhaps for int ops?

smiling monkey
11th Mar 2019, 02:30
Just heard they have 2 jets lined up an E190 & a BAe146-not sure which subtype. Air Kiribati perhaps for int ops?

There's only one operator that operates both of these types and it's not Air Kiribati. Would be pretty easy to guess which one.

11th Mar 2019, 05:55
might not be the same operator, as domestic ops can only be done by OZ or NZ registered aircraft. International could be done by many operators.

21st Mar 2019, 03:17


So when people ask questions about "which airline" the answer is "we are chartering our own aircraft."

Destinations advertised including Vietnam, Manila and Singapore.

Not sure about daily Perth charters given the rules around RPT ports, isn't the limit two charters per week?

Best of luck.

21st Mar 2019, 03:37
sounds ok, but probably using different airlines for domestic & international.

Think if they call the charters closed, then no limit at all. They just have to be careful with good old casa, who can't give a good definition of charters vs RPT. RPT is expensive apparently to set up. Heard figures of $120k banded around. Proving flights/lawyers fees/casa fees etc. whereas no costs like these to operate charters.

21st Mar 2019, 05:48
Find for me in the regulation, Act or CASR the difference between charter and closed charter.

The charter limit is to protect RPT ports and the RPT operators. My memory is two per week but this document says one to unregulated ports.


21st Mar 2019, 07:07
you can do as many closed charters as you want. FIFO are closed charters.

You can always make passengers members of a "church"

+ don't think port hedland is mentioned in that transport wa doc. (couldn't be bothered reading whole thing)

Does anyone know if Cobham have any 146s sitting around doing SFA at any time during the week ?

21st Mar 2019, 09:48
Find for me in the regulation, Act or CASR the difference between charter and closed charter.

CAR 206

the carriage, in accordance with fixed schedules to and from fixed terminals, of passengers or cargo or passengers and cargo in circumstances in which the accommodation in the aircraft is not available for use by persons generally;

For a Travel Agent to pull this off they would have to have some sort of membership arrangement and only members can purchase seats on the aircraft.

However I don't think they would need such a high frequency so just regular charter would probably cover it.

21st Mar 2019, 14:07
That's right Nev, there is no legal definition other than that, charter is charter. Closed charter is a made up name, does not appear in "the rules". I know of mining FIFO that carries employees of multiple companies and even allows " local citizens" to use the service. All very grey area stuff until someone loses an eye.

However that is beside the point. I think they will struggle with a daily Perth Port Hedland charter.

Global Aviator
21st Mar 2019, 18:39
Not quiet the Pilbara...